Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has hinted at a possible summer clear-out at Stamford Bridge after dismissing suggestions of a return for former boss Jose Mourinho.
Buck expects some of the current squad will be sold to fund new signings during the summer months but did not rule out owner Roman Abramovich spending his own cash to get the right player.
The futures of Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou and Deco have already come under scrutiny this season and Chelsea may be ready to cash in on some of their stars to fund a rebuilding programme under their new manager.
"I think I could maybe discuss transfers generally," said Buck. "We are expecting some players to leave this summer, I don't know whether it is three, four or five, and several players to come in.
"In the large part we would like to fund acquisitions with sales, that just makes good business, but I think that if the player came along at the right price, and it was a hefty price, and it worked for Chelsea, then Mr Abramovich would be willing to invest more money in the club for that transfer - but by and large we'd like to purchase players with funds that have been received by selling players."
Much will depend on who replaces interim boss Guus Hiddink. He will end his temporary spell with the Blues this summer and return to the Russian national team full-time.
AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti is rumoured to be the favourite to arrive as his replacement but Buck ruled out a return for Mourinho, who left by mutual consent in September 2007.
"Jose was a great coach, he is a great guy but I think his time at Chelsea Football Club has passed," Buck told a fans' forum.
"We didn't fire him; it was mutual that he left the club. The board and Jose were not seeing eye-to-eye on a number of things and it was time we parted company.
"We have great respect, obviously, for what he did for Chelsea, we are on great terms with him. I saw him at the Manchester United match, he is a great guy and he did great things for the club.
"But in September 2007 Jose and the board and Roman decided it was time for Jose to leave."
Buck also confirmed that Hiddink will not be staying at the club.
"Guus came here on a temporary basis two months ago and it is thanks to the Russian FA that he was able to come here; it is purely a temporary role," said the American.
"There has been a lot of speculation about him staying, particularly as he has been doing a great job. That will not be the case.
"It is now up to the board to find a new manager for the long term and that is a process that we have started and is ongoing. Anything you might read is just speculation at this stage. When we have an agreement for our new manager we will announce it."
Meanwhile Hiddink rejected suggestions he had lined up key Dutch recruits for Chelsea's back-room staff.
Ramond Verheijen, a sports scientist, and physio Arno Philips were reportedly heading for Chelsea as further evidence that Hiddink was looking to stay.
Verheijen has worked alongside Hiddink with Australia, South Korea, Holland and Russia and he leaves Feyenoord on June 1.
But Hiddink said: "I've had the two guys with me very many years in my staff. I used them during preparation at the 2002 World Cup.
"I used both of them in preparation for the recent European championships with Russia. I know them very well and their methods of working but there's nothing in it regarding Chelsea."